Good and bad guys

J. R. Valverde JRAMON at ccuam1.uam.es
Fri Feb 22 13:08:00 EST 1991

        Why should I had to learn a new Operating System?

        From the user's point of view: I see no reason. From the developer
(good guy) I can't see any.

        Now there are bad guys. If not, then take a look to what Windows
has been up to now. The point to stress is that computers should made life
easier. See the Mac. A good program subjects itself to general guidelines
that make it very easy to use. The developer (bad guy) says it is too di-
fficult (really?) to do this and takes a lot of effort.

        I (and you) have seen programs that where a joy under almost any
OS. And others that were a nightmare in Baker Street.

        So any OS is goog if the programmer is a good guy. Yeah? No. The
programmer also deserves any favour. The advantages of X-windows are that
it is standard, cheap and powerful. Your program can be beyond anybody's
dreams. But you must subject to good design for it to be useable.

        For the user, Unix WITH X will provide almost no need to learn a
new OS. Just point and click. And possibilities beyond dreams. Just consider
breaking down GenBk in seven pieces, and running in seven computers
at the same time the search: this means seven times faster. Just consider
having your data in a huge uniform space (you don't know it but it's spread
among different sites), and accessing it as if it were in your DiskLess!!
computer (A Mac or PC without HardDisk, but WITH X client capabilities is
more cheap than your actual machine I bet).

        Now the point is:
                Stop all those ugly guys who do not want to make not a good
but just an useable program! Even a non-graphic program may be OK if well
designed. But any program, be it in any computer, with 3D, a thousand blinking
colors in the screen and a hundred unorganized menus will be beyond any
one's capabilities.

        You, the user, must be conscious and ask for good interfaces as you
ask for good health care. And that begins (we all agree) by getting a
*standard* that allows freedom but easies life to all of us.

        And remember, there's no point in asking for Artificial Intelligence
where there is NO natural one.

        As for the users, I suspect not many read this list. Most Biologues
will be more interested in other more-afine themes. If you want to know
their opinions, go out and ASK them at their benchtop.

                J. R. Valverde
        Biomedical Research Institute
                Madrid - SPAIN

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